Seventh-grader Lara Zany is the self-proclaimed "official Friendship Matchmaker" of Potts County Middle School, and she is drafting a manual filled with her top tips to send to "Harry Potter's publishers" when it's complete. Unfortunately, Lara is so busy coaching her "clients" on how to talk, dress, and on what not to bring for lunch or do at recess that she has no time to dwell on her own lack of friends. A transfer student from another school, Emily Wong, shakes up all the rules ("Cartoon-inspired dress choices in seventh grade? Dolphins? This was without a doubt the worst case of RFP [Reputation Faux Pas] I'd ever come across," says a horrified Lara) and bets Lara that she can't match up one of her most difficult "Terminal Total Loner" classmates. Australian author Abdel-Fattah (Where the Streets Had a Name) navigates the intricacies of middle school relationships and social challenges via a well-meaning protagonist whose enthusiasm never flags. Readers will quickly see the end of Lara's tale coming but still be pleased by the happy, slightly rushed denouement. Ages 8–12. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/11/2012 Release date: 07/17/2012 Genre: Children's
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